Bournemouth boss wants 'feedback' from ref after controversial Liverpool victory

Bournemouth were stung by two controversial refereeing decisions as they went down to a disputed Christian Benteke winner at Liverpool.

Bournemouth boss wants 'feedback' from ref after controversial Liverpool victory

Bournemouth were stung by two controversial refereeing decisions as they went down to a disputed Christian Benteke winner at Liverpool.

The promoted Cherries were beaten 1-0 at Anfield after Benteke's first goal since his £32m summer move from Aston Villa was allowed to stand despite Philippe Coutinho being in an offside position.

That came after the visitors had also had an early Tommy Elphick goal harshly disallowed for a foul on Dejan Lovren.

The result left the south coast side still looking their first win the Barclays Premier League after two 1-0 defeats, while Liverpool have won both of their opening fixtures by the same scoreline.

But Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe felt the outcome should have been different and turned the heat on referee Craig Pawson and his assistants.

"I would like some feedback on both decisions," Howe said. "It is a difficult profession.

"I am not saying it is easy and things happen very quickly, but you would like to think decisions of that magnitude - and I don't think either were particularly difficult - you would get right.

"That is basically a two-goal swing against us. Two big decisions have gone against us."

The main talking point was the Benteke goal in the 26th minute. The Belgian was onside as he turned in a deep cross from Jordan Henderson at the far post, but Coutinho's position as the ball came in was clearly offside.

The Brazilian also played at the ball while it was close to him and goalkeeper Artur Boruc appeared affected by his movement, all in apparent contravention of the latest interpretation of the offside law.

Howe said: "That is the clearest example of the new rule you will see. A yard and a half offside and he is clearly impacting the goalkeeper. I don't think that is a tough one."

That decision compounded Bournemouth's frustration after the Elphick incident in the fifth minute.

Howe said: "Tommy has won the ball fairly. He has been aggressive but if that is a foul, we will be having fouls every time a corner goes into the box. That cannot be a free-kick in my opinion, no way."

Bournemouth rallied strongly in the second half and hit the post through the impressive Matt Ritchie but Liverpool held on for a second unconvincing victory of the season.

Aside from a spell of dominance either side of the goal, the Reds lacked fluency, although Benteke almost grabbed a second late on with a deflected shot onto the bar.

Manager Brendan Rodgers, who is under pressure to deliver this season, was happy to accept the luck that fell his side's way.

He said of the controversial decisions: "I haven't seen either of them again. Thankfully the goal counted and we are happy to get the win."

Benteke's performance was an obvious positive and Rodgers said: "I thought he was a real handful. His hold-up play is outstanding and has a wonderful touch for a big guy. It gives us a different dimension to our game and the fluency will come."

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up